Create a free account to continue

Brewery of 12 People Wins 'Large Brewing Company of the Year'

A small incubation brewery in Golden, Colorado is now home to the "Largest Brewing Company of the Year" award from the 2014 Great American Beer Festival. AC Golden has 12 employees who brew and sell some of Colorado's most flavorful beers.

CHICAGO (PRNewswire) — AC Golden, a small incubation brewery in Golden, Colo., has 12 employees who are committed to brewing and selling some of Colorado's most flavorful beers, such as Colorado Native. And now, it is home to the "Large Brewing Company of the Year" award from the 2014 Great American Beer Festival, sponsored by the Brewer's Association.

"I'm not sure how a 12-employee brewery won the Large Brewer of the Year, but we proudly accept the recognition of the talents of our brewers and the commitment of our small but passionate team," said Glenn Knippenberg, AC Golden Brewing Company president and co-founder. "Our partnership with MillerCoors gives us the ability to source the best ingredients and brewing equipment in the world -- and then they get out of the way to let us experiment with a wide variety of beers, including Colorado Native. They've let us grow our business the right way and, in a world where a lot of folks are focused on immediate returns, they take a long term view."

In addition to the win for AC Golden, MillerCoors' brewing companies took home eight individual brand medals — including a category sweep in the American-Style Lager or Light Lager category. In addition, every MillerCoors brewing company that entered beers in the competition won a medal, a fact made even more impressive because 1,309 breweries entered more than 5,500 beers.

Our brewmasters and brewery workers are as passionate and talented as any in America, of any brewer, any size," said MillerCoors CEO Tom Long. "While we've been brewing America's highest quality beers for almost 160 years, it's always a great thrill for our people to be recognized in this way by their fellow brewers. We're delighted."

MillerCoors swept the American-Style Lager or Light Lager category with gold for Miller Lite, silver for Coors Light and bronze for Coors Banquet; and Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company's Canoe Paddler won bronze in the German-Style Kolsch category, marking the second straight year the brand won a GABF medal. AC Golden took home two medals, continuing a four-year streak with at least one medal.

The complete list of medals won by MillerCoors at the 2014 GABF:


  • Colorado Native Amber Lager (AC Golden Brewing Company) – American-Style Amber Lager
  • Miller Lite (Miller Brewing Company) – American-Style Lager or Light Lager


  • Colorado Native Golden Lager (AC Golden Brewing Company) – American-Style Amber Lager
  • Coors Light (Coors Brewing Company) – American-Style Lager or Light Lager


  • Blue Moon Honey Grand Cru (Blue Moon Brewing Company) – Specialty Honey Beer
  • Coors Banquet (Coors Brewing Company) – American-Style Lager or Light Lager
  • Leinenkugel's Canoe Paddler (Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company) – German-Style Kolsch
  • Move Back (The SandLot) – Dortmunder or German-Style Oktoberfest

"We proudly accept these awards as testament to our unwavering commitment to brewing beers of unmatched quality," said Dr. David Ryder, head brewmaster at MillerCoors.

Since 1996, MillerCoors has won a combined 286 medals at the Great American Beer Festival and the bi-annual World Beer Cup, also hosted by the Brewers Association.

The Great American Beer Festival was held in Denver October 2-4. As the signature event in the U.S. brewing industry, its medals are recognized as among the most respected in the business.

About MillerCoors

Built on a foundation of great beer brands and nearly 300 years of brewing heritage, MillerCoors continues the commitment of its founders to brew the highest quality beers.  MillerCoors is the second-largest beer company inthe United States, capturing nearly 30 percent of beer sales in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.  Led by two of the best-selling beers in the industry, MillerCoors has a broad portfolio of brands across every major industry segment.  The portfolio is led by the company's premium light brands: Coors Light, Miller Lite and Miller64.  Coors Light, the World's Most Refreshing Beer, offers consumers refreshment as cold as the Rockies.  Miller Lite established the American light beer category in 1975, offering beer drinkers a light beer that tastes like beer should.  Miller64 is 64 calories of crisp, light taste that complements a balanced lifestyle. MillerCoors brews premium beers Coors Banquet and Miller Genuine Draft, and economy brands Miller High Life and Keystone Light.  Tenth and Blake Beer Company, the MillerCoors craft and import division, imports Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell and Grolsch, and features craft brews from the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Blue Moon Brewing Company and the Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Company.  MillerCoors operates eight major breweries in the U.S., as well as the Leinenkugel's craft brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wisc., and two microbreweries, the Tenth Street Brewery inMilwaukee and the Blue Moon Brewing Company at Coors Field in Denver.  The MillerCoors vision is to create the best beer company in America through great people changing the way America enjoys beer. MillerCoors builds its brands the right way through brewing quality, responsible marketing and sustainable environmental and community impact.  MillerCoors is a joint venture of SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company.  Learn more at, at or on Twitter through @MillerCoors.

More in Operations